Curbishley fears FA will show favouritism to glamour teams

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The Independent Football

The Addicks have been drawn at home to Middlesbrough in the quarter-finals but do not yet know when the game will take place. Curbishley fears ties involving Chelsea and Liverpool will be put in the familiar Tuesday and Wednesday slots, leaving his less glamorous side to play either on a Monday or Thursday.

That would be too close to weekend Premiership fixtures to his liking, with the season's end having been brought forward to allow England to concentrate on an assault on the World Cup in June. "The FA have some sorting out to do," Curbishley said after yesterday's draw. "We are giving the England team an extra week to prepare so the quarter-finals are being played in midweek. It means someone will have to play on the Saturday and again on Monday, which isn't ideal, or someone playing on the Thursday night and again on Saturday.

"We are talking about the Premiership being this prestigious tournament and the FA given a higher profile but it doesn't look too clever when you have four games spanned out like that. It will be very difficult for the teams who have to play on the Monday and the Thursday.

"I wouldn't want to be the one who decides who plays when but I think you'll probably find Liverpool and Chelsea play Tuesday and Wednesday night.

"If we are picked to play the Monday game, our game before that is Arsenal away so we can't do too much about that. If we are playing on Tuesday or Wednesday that's fine but if we are on the Thursday then we are at home to Newcastle on the is not great news for the Premiership or the FA Cup.

Curbishley added: "We want to give the England team the best opportunity but perhaps we should all be playing Tuesday or Wednesday. Wiser men than me can sort it out."

FA Cup sixth round draw

Aston Villa or Manchester City v Bolton or West Ham

Birmingham v Liverpool

Charlton v Middlesbrough

Chelsea v Newcastle

Ties to be played week commencing 20 March